New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has said that the bribery charges against Dem Senator Robert Menendez were ‘deeply disturbing.’ He has asked the New Jersey Senator to step down. Menendez has refused, vowing to counter the charges. He said that he was ‘not going anywhere.’ The call by Phil Murphy comes hours after Menendez was indicted for bribery. Fellow Democrat Murphy could appoint a successor but only if the tainted Senator agrees to resign.
Gov. Phil Murphy released a statement late Friday terming the allegation as ‘deeply disturbing.’ Robert Menendez has been urged to resign even as he faces charges of accepting bribes in exchange for favors. The bribes included gold bars, a high-end Mercedes-Benz, cash, and other expensive gifts. Three businessmen benefitted from the exchange in return for their role in influencing the government in Egypt.
Phil Murphy Not The Only Democrat Leader Urging Menendez To Step Down
Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips (Minnesota) has also expressed deep disappointment over the allegations against Menendez and urged the senator to step down. Phillips added that despite the assumption that an accused is innocent unless proven otherwise, Menendez should resign immediately. Phillips also said he was appalled and said that people on both sides of the political fence should be disgusted.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered gold worth around $100,000 and $500,000 in cash from his home during a raid last year. The FBI has alleged that the money came from the New Jersey businessman who had interests in the African nation.
Phil Murphy can appoint a new Senator if Menendez resigns on his own. His term expires only in January 2025. But the tainted Senator has not indicated that he would be willing to step down. But the senator resigned later on Friday from his role as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair. Other than Phil Murphy, New Jersey Reps. Mikie Sherrill and Andy Kim, both Democrats, have called upon the fellow Democrat to resign.